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CRITIC'S CHOICE

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REVIEW

With so much going on nationally in Architecture Week 2006, which runs from 16-25 June, it's a little arbitrary to single anything out, but an event at The Watershed, Bristol, on 21 June catches the eye. Filmmaker Patrick Keiller will present his latest project, The City of the Future - an exploration of change and continuity in city life, based on documentary films of a century ago ( www. picture-this. org. uk).

In his earlier works, London, Robinson in Space and The Dilapidated Dwelling, Keiller treated architecture and urbanism with an engaging fusion of image and text. 'When viewing archive film for The Dilapidated Dwelling, I was struck by a contrast between the familiarity of many of the spaces glimpsed and a feeling of distance from the lives of those who formerly inhabited them, ' says Keiller. While the fabric we occupy looks much the same, our worlds are transformed by developments in technology and communications - a disparity that's at the heart of The City of the Future.

Among several strands to Keiller's project is the creation of a database of urban space as it's portrayed in films, especially ones from the early 20th century. If you go to www. vads. ahds. ac. uk/collections/CF. html, you can download this database and discover a remarkable range of titles, including an 1899 short, Across Brooklyn Bridge, and a 1920s travelogue, Airplane Ride from Hendon to Brighton. The aerial views of the Docklands in the latter are a reminder that there's sometimes less continuity than Keiller suggests. Pictured above is a construction scene from 1990, as suits started to replace overalls on the Isle of Dogs.

Two other events in the South West on 21 June complement Keiller's presentation, looking as they do at a period of enforced change in the region. Both are guided walks examining the urban consequences of the Second World War - one in Bristol, the other in Plymouth, with Patrick Abercrombie's town centre as its focus. For details of events across the UK visit www. architectureweek. org. uk.

Meanwhile, from 15 June London's Barbican Gallery offers its own take on Keiller's theme with a new exhibition, Future City: Experiment and Utopia in Architecture 1956-2006.

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